Will Johnson

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Orlando’s Johnson arrested for domestic battery, suspended by MLS


Canadian national teamer and Orlando City SC midfielder Will Johnson has been arrested and charged with domestic abuse after an incident with his wife very early Wednesday morning.

Major League Soccer has suspended Johnson, and both the league and club released statements both backing the investigation and suspension.

[ MORE: Match fixing forces WCQ replay ]

Johnson, 30, is in his first season with the Lions after stops with Toronto FC, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, Chicago Fire, Heerenveen, and De Graafschap.

According to The Orlando Sentinel’s Alicia DelGallo:

In a verbal and sworn written statement, Childs Johnson said the couple of nearly five years is going through a divorce. During a verbal argument Tuesday, Johnson tackled his wife, according to the statement, “wrapping both of his arms completely around her waist.”

Childs Johnson fell to the ground and hit the right side of her head on the brick patio. She also scraped her right knee, left hand and right arm. Her mother was present for the incident and the deputy said she corroborated the story. The children were not present for the incident, according to the report.

The report says Childs Johnson doesn’t plan on pressing charges against Johnson, but is willing to testify in court.

MLS Snapshot: Real Salt Lake 0-1 Orlando City SC

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The match in 100 words (or less): A physical, back-and-forth first half saw the visitors take the lead on with a well executed set-piece. RSL had moments, especially as it inched towards the halftime whistle, but otherwise the goal was the only true chance of the opening 45. Out of the break, RSL continued to push for a point at home with all the possession, but nothing would come their way as Joe Bednik made a big save. The Orlando City back line never looked truly troubled, making 31 total clearances to keep RSL out and bounce back from the awful loss in Chicago.

The moments that mattered:

17′ – A set-piece undoes RSL at home as Will Johnson strikes against his former club. A free-kick floated into the box and it fell to Jose Aha at the far post. Aha, free from his defender, clattered his header off the crossbar, but with RSL unable to clear the ball, Johnson pounces and gives Orlando City the early lead.

63′ – With Orlando City in the lead, Joe Bednik made a great play to keep the clean sheet alive. A nice ball from the flank by Joao Plata was chested down expertly by Jefferson Savarino right into the line of Luis Silva. The LA-born striker was free on goal, but Bednik came off his line to put his body on the line and smother the chance before Silva could get a shot off.

 Man Men of the Match: Jonathan Spector, Jose Aja

Goalscorers: Johnson (17′),

MLS (afternoon) roundup: Basti scores, Fire win again; Larin downs LA late

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The sixth MLS Saturday of 2017 is nearly halfway complete. A quick roundup of the day’s early games…

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Chicago Fire 3-0 New England Revolution

Two wins, one draw — that’s Chicago’s record since signing Bastian Schweinsteiger. Now, an asterisk (or a few): all three games were played at home; in the first game, against the Montreal Impact, Ignacio Piatti was unavailable due to injury; in the second game, against Columbus Crew SC, Gregg Berhalter pieced together one of the worst starting lineups we’ve seen all season; in the third game, on Saturday, Chicago had a man advantage for over an hour.

The answer to “How good are the Fire, exactly?” is coming soon. For now, enjoy Schweinsteiger scoring his second MLS. Nemanja Nikolic also bagged a brace, his third and fourth goals since coming to the league in the winter. So far, it’s been an unbelievable return on signings made during the offseason (Schweinsteiger, Nikolic, Dax McCarty and Juninho, to name a few).

Orlando City SC 2-1 LA Galaxy

The “Cyle Larin is going to Europe, and soon” hype train continues to pick up steam, as the 21-year-old Canadian international bagged his 35th career goal (Orlando have scored exactly 100 in 73 MLS games) and fourth this season, this time an extremely late winner to top LA and preserve the Lions’ 100 percent home record at the brand new Orlando City Stadium.

Will Johnson fired Orlando into the lead in the 9th minute, chesting the ball out of the air and unleashing a powerful volley toward the far post. LA’s Clement Diop — nor any goalkeeper in the world, for that matter — didn’t have a chance. Romain Alessandrini pulled LA level with his fourth goal in three games, in the 83rd minute, but Larin reacted quickest when the ball came to him at the top of the six-yard box, and just like that, Orlando are top of the Eastern Conference (for now).

Montreal Impact 2-1 Atlanta United

Red cards change games, no matter when they’re given, but they change games especially drastically when they’re handed out before halftime. Atlanta’s Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was shown a straight red for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity — it was questionable — in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time. That allowed Ignacio Piatti to score from the penalty spot, canceling out Kenwyne Jones‘ opener, his first MLS goal.

For the majority of the second half — as in, all but the final 30 seconds of extra time — Atlanta were hugely deserving of the draw and would have even felt hard done by given the nature of the dismissal. Alas, “deserve” doesn’t really mean much in soccer, and Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored from what can only be called a fortunate redirect after three and a half minutes of stoppage time.

Orlando City signs veteran midfielder Will Johnson

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The offseason carousel of player movement around MLS continued on Wednesday as a two-time MLS Cup winner made his way south.

[ MORE: MLS vet Javier Morales joins FC Dallas ]

Orlando City SC has signed veteran midfielder Will Johnson on a two-year contract after spending the 2016 season with Toronto FC.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Johnson, 29, will now be playing for his fifth different MLS team since beginning his career in the U.S. back in 2005. In addition to TFC, the Canadian-born Johnson has also played for the Chicago Fire, Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers.

In addition to his club duties, Johnson has made 41 appearances for the Canada national team, scoring four goals in that span.

MLS Cup: Toronto FC all about the team

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Toronto, Ontario (AP) Team has been the theme for Toronto FC in the buildup to the MLS Cup final.

From boisterous practices to team-first media interviews, the All for One club motto has been plain to see ahead of the championship game Saturday against the visiting Seattle Sounders.

“You don’t get to this point by mistake or by accident. You get here because a group of special guys who have all bought into a philosophy, an identity,” said Toronto midfielder Will Johnson, an MLS Cup winner with Real Salt Lake and Portland.

“I say the same about Seattle. They’re bought into what they’re good at. We’re bought in, very motivated and want to sacrifice and put aside egos to get to a point as a team to compete for the big trophy.”

[ MORE: Designing the best UCL Round of 16 ]

Star striker Jozy Altidore, no fan of chatting with the media, was downright prickly when a reporter asked him if he had taken time to reflect on his personal journey to the championship game.

“No,” he said definitively. “This isn’t personal, this is a team game. We’re here to try to help Toronto to be a winning team. This has nothing to do with individuals. So it has nothing to do with what I’ve been through. This is what the city’s been through, what the fans have been through, what this club has been through. That’s far more important.”

Fullback Justin Morrow, a seven-year MLS veteran, has never played this deep into the season before.

“Each week we build on top of each other and we get closer as the year goes on. It really feels like it’s a culmination this week,” he said.

[ UCL: Who can Arsenal, Man City, Leicester draw? ]

Coach Greg Vanney has made a point of praising the entire squad, including reserves who function as the scout team in practice. While he has done soccer’s equivalent of shortening his bench for the playoffs, the squad has stayed on point. If anyone has beefs, they have been kept to themselves.

That’s no small feat considering the salaries on the squad range from $7.12 million for star striker Sebastian Giovinco to $51,500 for youngsters Mo Babouli and Tsubasa Endoh.

For Morrow, being part of a tight-knit group allows you to forget that it is your job.

“When teams aren’t doing well, players tend to focus on that – their job and not about the other people on the team,” Morrow said. “And I think when teams are doing well, it becomes about the relationships between the players.”